Whether you are athletic or not, chances are that you have participated in a sport at some point in your life. Although you may not have chosen to become a professional athlete, you have probably attended at least a few games on the local, state, or possibly national level.
Here is a list of 10 of the richest sporting events in the world, and why they are so popular – in no particular order:
1. The Super Bowl – United States
This yearly championship of the National Football League (NFL) showcases the top two rated football teams in America as they go to combat one wintry Sunday afternoon each year. Super Bowl Sunday in 2018 is slated for February 8, in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the U.S. Bank Stadium. If you plan to attend, expect to spend around $4,000 per ticket.
If you are not a fan of throwing the pigskin, the commercials aired during the event are the most anticipated and sure to entertain you. In 2017, each 30-second slot raked in an average of five million dollars.
2. FIFA World Cup – Tentative
Not to be confused with American football, the FIFA World Cup is an international football competition – the sport is better known as soccer to residents of the United States. If you are interested in attending this exclusive event, you must apply online at FIFA.com. After a random drawing, tickets are available to applicants on a first come, first serve basis and are subject to availability. Ticket prices normally vary from around $105 to over $1,000 in U.S. dollars. However, if you are not a local of the host country, the airfare and accommodations are sure to set you back at least a few thousand more.
3. The World Series – United States
What is more American than the beloved pastime of baseball? For over a century, crowds have convened to watch the Major League players crack the bat in hopes of winning the championship. Ready to head to the stadium and root for your favorite MLB team? Tickets to the 2017 World Series ranged from $1,000 to $13,000 – not including peanuts and cracker jacks.
4. Dubai World Cup – Dubai
Since 1996, the Meydan Racecourse in the United Arab Emirates has hosted the richest thoroughbred horse race in the world. While general admission is a modest 40 Arab Emirates Dirham (AED), the equivalent of $10.89 U.S. dollars, prepare to spend the money saved on tickets for travel, hotel, and fine dining on Emirati cuisine.
5. FedExCup – United States
144 golfers make it to this elite championship of the Professional Golf Association, but only one goes home with a first-place trophy. Although the tickets for the PGA Tour may be quite modest compared to other sporting events, starting around $35 and up, the points leader goes home with his portion of the $35 million bonus fund.
6. The Indy 500 – United States
Each Memorial Day weekend, the masses gather in Indianapolis for one of the most anticipated races of the year. While admission is rather affordable, the victor walks away with a multimillion-dollar purse and an assortment of other accolades and endorsements.
7. World Series of Poker – United States
Is poker an actual sport? When you are in Las Vegas, the home of some of the world’s most renowned casinos, gambling is practically mandatory. Caesars Entertainment Corporation has hosted this high-stakes tournament of luck, skill, and strategy since 2005. This year, the lucky winner earned a mind-boggling $8,150,000. If you are a spectator, seats for the audience are modestly priced. If you are a player, you must pay a $10,000 entry fee for their chance at receiving the hefty cash prize and desired tournament bracelet.
8. UEFA Champions League – Europe
The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is one of the most popular competitions of the top-division European football (soccer) clubs. The league plays in a variety of tournaments throughout the year in a series of playoffs and draws, with the current season beginning on June 27, 2017, and ending May 26, 2018. Fans must apply for tickets, are limited to two per person, and are granted on a first come, first served basis.
9. UEFA European Championships – Europe
For those teams not quite making the cut for the esteemed UEFA Champions League.
10. The ICC World Cricket Cup – Tentative
Held every four years, this event of the International Cricket Council (ICC) is next scheduled for 48 matches in various locales of England and Wales from May through July of 2019. While the tickets are considered somewhat cheap compared other sporting events, the venues sellout rather quickly and those interested must complete an application along with other fans from over 60 countries, and hope for the best.
Bringing It All Together
Whether you choose to sit on the sidelines or on your sofa in the comfort of your home, sporting events make fans feel as if they are part of the action. These games unite millions of people as an actual real-life soap opera unfolds before their eyes. On the other hand, if you are not a fan yet, attending one of the events above might just change your mind.